Corn, Tomatoes and Dreams

Last night, as I drove back from Santa Rosa, I passed a cornfield standing brown and crispy against the pale blue evening sky. Unharvested. I pulled over into dirt to listen. I’ve stopped here before to hear corn and sunflowers in late-day winds. The feeling of the cool breeze that wafts across these open lands fills me with joy, longing, sadness. Someone told me once that the spirit of our ancestors comes to us on the wind. I think perhaps that is true. All my family has gone now and I feel them—my lovely mother, my father, my brother, sister, nephew—all gone.

I stood looking across acres of corn, adjacent to a wide field of left-over tomatoes. Amazing how many were discarded, left behind to rot and be turned back into the soil. It reminded me of Christmas ornaments, all the shiny red Romas nestled in green weeds as far as I could see.

The responsibility of home, dinner, my aging feline, tugged at me as I stood there, feeling the wind ruffle my dress and loving the feel against my bare legs. I envisioned myself a pioneer women out on the plains, my long cotton dress caught up in warm, dry winds, our fields of corn and wheat and alfalfa reaching as far as I could see, the glorious sunset drenching the horizon with reds and oranges and purples as night closed in. I felt my connection to the land, to my ancestors and had to stifle the urge to take off my shoes and run down the dirt road as fast as my legs could carry me—back to a life that is only in my dreams now. The wind brings all sorts of emotions back to me.


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